Memorials destroyed by vandals on Easter in Rockwood

Image 1 of 5

On Easter Sunday someone vandalized memorials in Rockwood.

Trees and plaques were damaged, and it's not like whoever did this could plead ignorance about what they were destroying.  Everyone in this town knows these trees are for the dead. Some plaques even names and the phrases like "in memory of."

"For somebody to get that in their mind that that's what they were going to do that day, on Easter, middle of the day, like where are your families? What were you doing," said Jessica Matich.

There's no easy answer to the question seemingly everyone in Rockwood is asking. Sometime between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Easter Sunday, someone damaged 10 memorial trees in Mercure Park.

Plaques that double as headstones were also damaged or stolen. For some families it's all they could afford for their deceased loved ones. 

"We came this morning and we were very grateful that ours hasn't been touched but we saw that the one right next to it, it looks like they took the branch right off of it," Matich said. "It doesn't look like it had that much time to live."

"What I've seen out here is devastating," said Dino Guzzi. "This is a beautiful park, this is a beautiful city we live in and it shocks me." 

 Dino Guzzi's wife, Jody, has a memorial tree here. As does Jessica Matich's mother, Lynn.

"It just blows my mind that we've come to the point where we've run out of things to do that we destroy everybody else's stuff," Matich said. "And not only that, but this for people who are not even here to defend themselves."

The Rockwood Police Department is getting to the bottom of what happened. They suspect the vandals could be teens. Lt. Steve Mercure says whoever is responsible has a chance to make it right.

"If they turn themselves in the family can say hey replace the tree and avoid prosecution," Mercure said. "But if we have to go out there and find them, then we're going to have to prosecute them. And you know, 10 trees, 10 charges."

The families that had memorial trees damaged are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. If you know anything about what happened here please call Rockwood police at (734) 379-5323.